What many expect to be the largest environmental protest in history, hundreds of thousands of people are making a statement in the Global Climate Strike. And with them, some outdoor brands have shut their doors for the cause. Here’s why.
Today, outdoor industry heavyweights shut down not only offices but, in some cases, also websites and storefronts. They put aside a day of profits in order to join a global movement led by the young.
Hundreds of thousands of people, largely young school-age children, are protesting for leaders to act on climate change. Called the Global Climate Strike, people are taking to the streets in 156 countries around the world.
It’s a major global action that organizers hope will shake up climate change deniers and spur action and cooperation.
And a few outdoor brands are getting involved, including Patagonia, Burton, and Specialized. Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia, explained why. “We all must make it clear to our elected leaders that there is no room in government for climate deniers and their inaction is killing us,” she said.
“We need our leaders to act on the science and follow the market forces — do their jobs and create policies that protect our planet and our communities. Our customers are demanding we act — this generation of youth is not backing down, and neither should we,” she said.
Industry Follows Youth in Climate Summit
It’s a message echoed by several other brands across the outdoor industry today.
“The Amazon is literally on fire, the seas are rising, and glaciers are melting. I’m proud to have Burton join Greta’s movement to draw attention to this global crisis,” Burton CEO Donna Carpenter said in an email to employees.
On September 20th we will join the millions of young people urging our government to take meaningful action now to address the climate crisis, and hope you will join us.
— The North Face (@thenorthface) September 20, 2019
Carpenter’s note referenced climate strike leader Greta Thunberg, who, among many things, sailed across the Atlantic from Europe to New York to join the U.N. Climate Summit. Thunberg made the journey by sailboat to avoid contributing to the carbon emissions created by a trans-Atlantic flight.
Closed for Business
Specialized, Burton, and Patagonia took the significant steps of shutting down their websites for the Global Climate Strike. Information about the strike and environmental change dominates the homepage of each site.
Opportunities to purchase products are limited. Instead, the sites direct customers to take action for today’s strikes.
Patagonia’s homepage leads with a looped video with testimonials from young people and the words “facing extinction.”
Burton Goes a Step Further
Burton, a brand that clearly relies on the climate for its business of snowboarding, took its action even further today.
“We’re using all of our owned flagship stores as Action Centers where people can make signs and walk to nearby marches. Find your local store below and follow them for more information on the day’s events,” Burton reported on its website.
While these brands (and certainly others in the outdoor industry that we haven’t noticed) are making a statement, they’ve done so quietly.
For example, Specialized sent out a very short press release:
This Friday, September 20th, Specialized will join the Global Climate Strike by closing our website and global headquarters to support the youth activists driving this movement. We hope that you’ll join us by participating in your local community, and show that together, we can pedal the planet forward.
Watch the video below to learn more about why the Global Climate Strike is important to so many people worldwide.